An ambitious, multilayered thriller that unfolds amid the frozen landscapes of the Russian front during WWII, "Silence in the Snow" reps helmer Gerardo Herrero's best film since 2003's "The Galindez File." Setting a forensically detailed murder investigation against the messy backdrop of war is a neat concept the film fully exploits. After the end of the Spanish Civil War, Gen. Franco dispatched 18,000 Spanish soldiers, collectively known as the Blue Division, to Russia to help the Nazis combat communism -- a historical fact that's rarely, if ever, been handled in Spanish cinema. The opening scene shows a hauntingly surreal, and scientifically questionable, tableau (similar to one in Guy Maddin's "My Winnipeg") when private Arturo Andrade (Juan Diego Botto) comes across a herd of runaway horses frozen in a lake. Alongside them is a dead man with a line from a child's nursery rhyme carved into his chest.
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